Making Waves
July 1st, 2016
In this edition of Making Waves:
We would like to thank all the delegates and participants who attended the 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference. This year distinguished itself in the quality of the presentations and by the many fruitful discussions among participants.

During the annual meeting, members voted for the adoption of 13 new resolutions tackling a variety of issues, including phosphorus reduction in Lake Erie; climate change adaptation and mitigation; and the mayors' opposition to Waukesha's water diversion application. Click here to read the resolutions. The Cities Initiative wishes to thank all its members for their continued dedication and commitment to protecting the waters of the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence River, and we look forward to working with you to implement these new resolutions.
The Annual Meeting also marked the election of Mayor Denis Coderre (Montreal) as the new chair of the organization for 2016-2017. We look forward to working with you!
Immediate Past Chair Mitch Twolan and Mayor of Niagara Falls Paul Dyster

On Thursday, June 16th and Friday, June 17th, conference participants learned more about the issues of: lead in drinking water, climate change adaptation, harmful algal blooms, municipal sustainable initiatives, and Phragmites. The panels allowed participants to learn about the current initiatives being implemented by their neighboring cities and to increase their own knowledge of best practices, all in pursuit of creating a greener world. We hope to see you all next year in Montreal for the 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference. Videos of the 2016 conference are available on our website here. Presentations will be available soon.


Mayors Disappointed in the Approval of the Waukesha Diversion
On June 21, representatives of the Governors of the eight Great Lakes states approved the application of the City of Waukesha, WI to take water from Lake Michigan and use it outside the Great Lakes basin. The Cities Initiative is extremely disappointed in the governors' decision and firmly believes the application does not meet the terms of the Compact.  Waukesha will provide water to areas outside the City, will likely damage the Root River with the return flow, and has a reasonable alternative to treat their groundwater as many other communities in Wisconsin and neighboring states are doing.  The Cities Initiative is exploring its options to maintain the utmost protection of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
There has been extensive media coverage of the decision. Click on the links for a selection of the articles: Canadian Press (via The Globe and Mail), Chicago Tribune, Sarnia Observer, CBC

Microbeads Declared Toxic Substance
Earlier this week, the Canadian federal government officially listed microbeads as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). This action gives the Canadian federal government the ability to ban these small plastics, which often escape wastewater treatment processes and can find their way into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.

Earlier this year, the United States passed 
legislation that will phase out microbeads by 2019. The Cities Initiative has actively commented on microbead regulations in the US and Canada since 2013. Thank you to all 123 member municipalities for you continued support and concern on this issue. GLSLCI will continue to follow this issue in both the U.S. and Canada to ensure the long-term health of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. Read more about the Canadian regulations here.

David Ullrich Chosen as Chair of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission
At their recent Annual Meeting, the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission selected Cities Initiative Executive Director David Ullrich to serve as the GLFC Chair for the next two years. The GLFC manages the sea lamprey program, works with the eight states and two provinces on overall fishery management in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, and funds extensive research on sea lamprey control, aquatic invasive species, and fisheries in general. David Ullrich represents the local government perspective in this work.

Member News: Grand Rapids, Toronto listed as two of New York Times' "52 Places to Go in 2016" 
Member cities Grand Rapids, MI and Toronto, ON were both listed on the New York Times' "52 Places to Go in 2016" list. These Great Lakes cities were highlighted among a global list that included cities from the United States and Canada as well as cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia. Click here to read the full list.

Events and Webinars

Webinar: Forecast for Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie in 2016

Hosted by Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
1pm Central/2pm Eastern

Please join the 123 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative members in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River by clicking  here for a membership application.  If you are already a member, please encourage your neighboring communities to join, and be sure to renew your membership when you receive your notice.  

If your municipality would like to share news with the Cities Initiative, please email information to Laura Bretheim at